Muhuhu Hardwood


Muhuhu is a beautiful, yellow-brown wood with a distinct aroma of sandalwood. It is closely interlocked, with a fine, even texture, and occasionally has wavy or curly grain. The sapwood is distinct from the heartwood, and is greyish-white in colour. Muhuhu, also known by its botanical name Brachylaena butchinsii (Compositae), is a versatile timber, suitable for a range of uses including carving, turnery, flooring and more. It is a popular choice due to its unique colour and scent, and if available from sustainable and legal sources, it can be easily sourced.

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Also Called:
Mkarambaki, Muhugwe, Muhugive

Durability Notes:
Muhuhu wood is moderately durable

The drying and seasoning of Muhuhu is dependant on a number of factors; the speed in which it is processed after felling and logging, the method of drying and the specific kilns or location (if air dried). Generally the care taken by those processing the wood will have an impact on its drying and seasoning. As an overview; Muhuhu - As the wood is very dense, slow drying is recommended to a reduce impact on the grade and quality of the wood. End splitting and surface checking are typical drying defects. There is small movement in service. Please note that all wood is liable to move when in service plus there can be dimensional change. The extent of this will depend on; the stability of the species itself, the conditions it is exposed to, the coating, decoration and protection. You will find more information about the suitability of this wood, for any proposed application, by using our interactive system and the filters shown.

Muhuhu is a very heavy wood and has a very high resistance to wear. Muhuhu has a very low resistance to shock loads, a medium bending strength, low stiffness but a high crushing strength. The wood is rated as tolerable for steam bending. Due to its high density and irregular grain, Muhuhu has a tolerable blunting effect on cutting edges and there can be gum build-up when sawing. The wood turns, stains, polishes, varnishes and paints well but gluing can be challenging.

Typical Uses:
Furniture, Cabinetry, Flooring, Veneers, Carvings, Turnings, Musical Instruments, Boat Building, Exterior Trim.

Moisture Content:
Guide - 10-18% for KD (+/- 2%)

Commonly asked questions about Muhuhu Wood

Is Muhuhu a hardwood or a softwood? Muhuhu is a hardwood. It is the same for; is Muhuhu hardwood or softwood? - Muhuhu is a hardwood.

Most groups/families of species share the same characteristics but this normally relates to their life as plants. Individual species do not always share the same characteristics as their relatives, in terms of the wood. Many factors influence how we use the wood and what we use it for, including where it grows, how it is forested, how it seasons/dries, etc. The answers to the following common questions, therefore relate to this particular species/wood and not the Muhuhu family as a whole. Even more specific – our answers relate to the wood (as we know it) in its form as a useable resource.

What colour is Muhuhu? Muhuhu can be described as brown, dark brown, yellow/brown

Is Muhuhu good for outdoor use? or is Muhuhu good for exterior use? Muhuhu is most suited for internal/interior use. Muhuhu should not be used as an exterior/external timber (without treatment).

Whether the wood is naturally durable or not we would still recommend that it is decorated and/or coated with a suitable product to provide protection and/or maintain its appearance. This even applies when using the wood internally as, even subtle, changes in temperature or humidity will affect the wood. This will depend on the application/purpose of the wood and the user’s desired appearance. We also recommend that a recoating, care and maintenance programme is adhered to, for the life of an exterior wood. Wood cannot rot if it is kept dry – coatings and decoration can provide this protection. All of that said there are many durable timbers that are often left to weather naturally and will last for many years untreated/coated – movement and visual changes will occur but this is sometimes the desired effect. All wood is hygroscopic (it 'wants' to be in tune with its environment) it will therefore take on water from moisture in the air (or when directly exposed to or submerged in water) and ‘release it’ when dry or exposed to heat. This, inevitably, results in movement and dimensional change. For more about moisture in wood please click here - Moisture in wood

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